Tag Archives: Soybean

Measurement issues. Huge U.S. farms get even larger amid China commerce warfare


HAZELTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Because the 2018 harvest approached, North Dakota farmer Mike Appert had an issue – too many soybeans and nowhere to place them. Promoting was a foul choice. Costs had been close to decade lows as U.S. President Donald Trump’s commerce warfare with China weighed closely in the marketplace. Short-term storage would solely purchase him a little bit little bit of time, notably in an space the place chilly climate can injury crops saved in plastic baggage.

Farmer Doug Zink stands in one in every of his soybean fields close to Carrington, North Dakota, U.S., August 8, 2019. Image taken on August 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dan Koeck

So Appert, who farms 48,000 acres (19,425 hectares), minimize a test for $800,000 to construct eight new everlasting metal bins. Thatallowed him to carry onto his bumper crop and await costs to recuperate.

He offered half of the 456,000 bushels saved on his farm all through the next summer time, incomes about $1 extra per bushel and avoiding storage at close by CHS elevators or an Archer Daniels Midland Co. processor within the space.

However most farmers should not have $800,000 to spend on metal bins, and plenty of are going beneath. The variety of U.S. farms fell by 12,800 to 2.029 million in 2018, the smallest ever, because the commerce warfare pushes extra farmers into retirement or chapter.

Roger Hadley, who farms 1,000 acres in Indiana, was unable to plant any corn and soybeans this 12 months after heavy rains added to farmers’ woes.

He spent many of the summer time attempting to plant a mixture of grasses, a so-called cowl crop, so he may apply for presidency support and take a look at once more subsequent 12 months.

“The blokes that obtained wealthy are getting richer,” Hadley mentioned. “It has annoyed loads of guys.”

In farming, measurement does matter. The farms left standing after the commerce had been will seemingly be a few of the greatest within the enterprise. Appert’s operations are greater than 100 instances larger than the typical American farm and the benefits offered by that magnitude have gotten much more essential because the commerce warfare stretches right into a second 12 months.

The declining variety of U.S. farmers may harm the world’s prime grain retailers corresponding to ADM and Bunge, who could have fewer suppliers. Moreover, farmers could have much less must lease house within the retailers’ grain silos as huge farmers like Appert have plentiful storage on their very own farms.

ADM mentioned it might proceed altering to satisfy the wants of its clients. Bunge didn’t reply to an e mail in search of remark.

By the tip of 2018, the typical U.S. farm measurement rose to 443 acres, a 12-year excessive and up from 441 million in 2017, based on the most recent U.S. Division of Agriculture knowledge.

And the largest farmers are rising their operations much more as retiring farmers select to lease their land relatively than promoting it.

When land turns into obtainable for lease, solely the largest farmers can readily shoulder the prices wanted to broaden.

The scale of the loans smaller farmers would want to purchase gear, for instance, are too huge for candidates with little collateral, mentioned Dave Kusler, president of the Financial institution of Hazelton in Hazelton, North Dakota. “It’s nearly unattainable with what the prices are,” Kuslersaid. “On this space you may’t make a dwelling on 1,000 acres.”

Critics say the Trump administration’s coverage of compensating growers for misplaced gross sales as a result of commerce warfare pays the larger farm operations extra, since funds are calculated by acres farmed.

(For a graphic on Trump’s commerce warfare farm bailout: tmsnrt.rs/2Yu32ns)

The Environmental Working Group, a conservation group, mentioned in a current examine the highest 1% of support recipients obtained a median of greater than $180,000 whereas the underside 80% had been paid lower than $5,000 in support.

Appert mentioned that huge farmers obtain larger outright funds however much less per acre than small farms due to a $500,000 cap per farm.


Huge farms can reap the complete advantages of recent high-tech gear that enhances farm yields.

Doug Zink, who farms 35,000 acres close to Carrington, North Dakota, mentioned he likes to commerce in his fleet of 4 combines and planters practically yearly to make sure that his gear is beneath guarantee, which saves hundreds of {dollars} in upkeep prices and helps keep away from breakdowns throughout key seeding and planting intervals.

Additionally they obtain deep reductions – as a lot as $40,000 for some mix harvesters that may price as a lot as $400,000 – permitting them to improve extra typically.

Producers are more and more prepared to chop such offers to maintain purchasers because the variety of clients falls. Deere & Co mentioned that it’ll cut back manufacturing by 20% at its services in Illinois and Iowa within the second of half of the 12 months. Rival agricultural machine makers AGCO Corp and CNH Industrial have additionally slashed manufacturing to maintain stock in keeping with retail demand.

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Giant farms even have the best entry to capital, with bankers nonetheless keen to supply loans to growers with loads of collateral. “The ag pattern goes to bigger farms,” Kusler, the financial institution president in Hazelton, North Dakota, mentioned “The loans get a lot bigger.”

Appert had no drawback getting a mortgage to finance growth.

“If you wish to get a mortgage and purchase a bit of land it’s simply growth, growth, growth,” he mentioned.

Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Modifying by Caroline Stauffer and Marguerita Choy

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.


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ADM considers ethanol spinoff as first-quarter profit falls on severe weather


CHICAGO/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Friday it was considering spinning off its ethanol business after slim biofuel margins and Midwestern floods slammed the U.S. grains merchant’s profit, which tumbled 41 percent in the first quarter.

FILE PHOTO: The Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

ADM said it was creating an ethanol subsidiary, which will include dry mills in Columbus, Nebraska; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Peoria, Illinois.

The ethanol subsidiary will report as an independent segment, the company said, allowing options “which may include, but are not limited to, a potential spin-off of the business to existing ADM shareholders.”

Results were hit by the “bomb cyclone” blizzards that devastated the Midwest and Great Plains this year, causing massive flooding across Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, washing out rail lines and wreaking havoc in the moving and processing of corn, soybeans and wheat. One-sixth of U.S. ethanol production was halted.

In March, ADM warned Wall Street that flooding and severe winter weather in the U.S. Midwest would reduce its first-quarter operating profit by $50 million to $60 million.

“The first quarter proved more challenging than initially expected,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano, with earnings down in its starches, sweeteners and bioproducts unit. Luciano said impacts of the severe weather ultimately “were on the high side of our initial estimates”.

Ongoing problems in the ethanol industry added to the problems and “limited margins and opportunities” for ADM, Luciano said.

The ethanol industry has been in the midst of a historic downswing due to the U.S.-China trade war, excess domestic supply and weak margins.

ADM, which had been an ethanol pioneer, signaled to Wall Street in 2016 that it was hunting for options and considering sales of its U.S. dry ethanol mills. Luciano told Reuters this year that offers ADM had received for the mills were too low.

In addition, ADM said it planned to repurpose its corn wet mill in Marshall, Minnesota, to produce higher volumes of food and industrial-grade starches.

Other major traders are alsy trying to distance themselves from struggling ethanol businesses. Louis Dreyfus Company BV spun off its Brazilian sugar and ethanol business Biosev in 2013. Rival Bunge sold its sugar book and has sought a buyer for its Brazilian mills since 2013.

ADM, which makes money trading, processing and transporting crops, such as corn, soybeans and wheat, has been looking to strengthen its core business. Last month it said it would seek voluntary early retirements of some North American employees and cut jobs as part of a restructuring effort.

The company expects to lower 2019 capital spending by 10 percent to between $800 million and $900 million.

Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $233 million, or 41 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $393 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $15.30 billion from $15.53 billion. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 46 cents per share, while analysts on average had estimated 60 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio


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